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Heart Valve Repair & Replacement

People from across the region choose the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center to restore their heart valve function. Our team is at the forefront of advancements in heart valve care, with cardiovascular experts who provide options not found elsewhere. We offer complex surgeries and minimally invasive procedures that can allow you to recover faster.

Here, you’ll find heart surgeons, cardiologists, interventional cardiologists and advanced practice nurses with the knowledge and skill to treat various heart valve conditions. And with results that consistently exceed national standards, we help our patients recover from heart valve disease and regain an active life.

Heart Valve Repair & Replacement: Why Choose Us?

Repairing or replacing heart valves requires exceptional experience and skill. The Heart & Vascular Center’s surgeons and interventional cardiologists are among the nation’s best. We offer:

  • Experience in heart valve replacement: When repair is not an option, we can replace a heart valve that’s not working with an artificial valve. Our team is experienced in both open-heart and minimally invasive surgery techniques to replace heart valves.
  • Faster recovery through minimally invasive procedures: Our surgeons and interventional cardiologists can repair and replace heart valves using procedures that require smaller incisions and less down time compared to open-heart surgery.
  • Leadership in TAVR: Our team has the most experience in Missouri performing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) – the first procedure for aortic heart valve problems that does not require open-heart surgery. In fact, doctors at the Heart & Vascular Center were the first in Missouri to offer TAVR.
  • Personalized care from an experienced team: Our doctors and surgeons have deep knowledge and experience with heart valve treatments. Together, we’ll develop a personalized plan that can provide the best possible outcome for you.

Heart Valve Surgery Options

When your heart valve no longer functions properly, your doctor may recommend surgery. Our surgeons and interventional cardiologists have a breadth of knowledge and skill that’s unmatched in the region.

We offer the following treatment options for heart valve disease including:

  • Heart valve repair: For many people, repairing a damaged valve is the best option because it can avoid artificial valve complications. While some people with an artificial valve need a later surgery to replace a worn-out implant, a repaired valve can last a lifetime. Aortic valve repair may be an option for some people who have congenital aortic valve problems. We also have experience repairing mitral valves, pulmonary valves and tricuspid valves.
  • Heart valve replacement: Using open-heart surgery (an incision in your chest), your surgeon removes the faulty valve and replaces it with an artificial one. This open-heart surgery helps many patients who aren’t candidates for repair procedures.
  • Aortic valve replacement through mini-sternotomy: This less-invasive approach involves making a smaller incision in your chest. Using this smaller incision, the surgeon replaces your damaged valve with an artificial one.

Minimally Invasive Heart Valve Repair & Replacement

Minimally invasive procedures often use a transcatheter approach to repair or replace heart valves. Our specialists thread a long, narrow tube called a catheter through an artery or large vein to the heart. Using this method, doctors require only tiny incisions to repair or replace your heart valve.

Our highly skilled interventional cardiologists specialize in performing transcatheter procedures including:

  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR): Doctors perform TAVR using a catheter inserted through an artery or vein to place an artificial valve inside your existing valve. Our team’s experience means our doctors have the option of accessing the heart from any of five different points to perform the TAVR procedure. The ability to select from several routes to the heart is not available at every heart center and means we can offer this minimally invasive procedure to people who might not otherwise have this option. Learn more about transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
  • Transcatheter mitral valve repair: An alternative to open-heart surgery, this minimally invasive method allows our specialists to repair your mitral valve through a very small incision. One repair technique uses a device that clips two leaflets of the valve together (called MitraClip therapy). Learn more about mitral valve repair.
  • Transcatheter mitral valve replacement: Similar to TAVR, this minimally invasive procedure uses an artery or vein to route an artificial valve to your heart. This newer procedure is not available at all heart centers. The complexity of the mitral valve demands skillful heart specialists with specialized expertise.

Contact Us

To make an appointment with a Washington University heart valve specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call 855.925.0631.